No matter how many deadlines, how many todos are on your list or how full your schedule, we believe in carving out time to recharge with the people and things that truly fuel you!
We know what it feels like to have a todo list that takes over your day where it seems impossible to squeeze time in with your nearest and dearest. We also know how easy it is to put date nights off to the side after you’ve been together for 11 years (that’s us…11 years of dating with 1.5 of those years as Mr. + Mrs.) and instead putting work front and center. But what if you put the same energy and the same time into cultivating meaningful relationships with those you love as you do into the work that you love? What would that look? What would that feel like?
These are the questions that Jor and I started to ask ourselves a year or two ago and those simple questions had us actively working on checking out of work to intentionally check in with each other. At the end of the day, your todos and your work do not define you (or they shouldn’t). We want our relationship to be front and center…the fuel that gets us through the busy days and the busy seasons.
So we do just that. Each Sunday, we schedule the day and time that we will carve out for OUR time, whether it be a lunch date or a date night. We change up the “me time” section of our daily spread in our Happy Balance Planners with “OUR time” and we treat our plans just as important as any other meeting on the daily list. Why? Because these dates and this time together are what ground us and remind us of what truly matters amidst the hustle and bustle of every day life. We don’t want to look up one day and realize how much we missed together.
While we know the struggle to find time for date nights can be real, we wanted to share a few of our favorite easy date night/day ideas. Take all the pressure off yourself trying to think of an elaborate idea. The point is to spend quality, meaningful time with your favorite…thought of that way, the simplest activity in the world can achieve just that!
- Week Day Lunch Date: This is a weekly thing for Jor and I and has been for about six consecutive years now. We both work from home and while we do eat lunch together most days, we make a point to leave the house for a real lunch date. There is something special about skipping away from work, the computer screen and the todo list and getting to just enjoy the other’s company. Having a bad morning? This is the perfect solution! Need motivation to get through the morning struggle? Again, knowing you have a fun lunch date waiting for you mid-day is sometimes the only thing that gets me through a full morning of work. We have a set time and day each week that works for our schedules and so we treat our weekly lunch like a weekly, standing meeting. Perhaps the best meeting of our week!
- Thirty Minute Tea/Coffee Time: Try carving out tea/coffee time and put all the electronics on silent. You can do this at your favorite local coffee shop or you can enjoy in the comfort of your living room but the point is to just sit and be still together. We usually schedule ours twice a month, we leave our phones at our desks, make a small snack (our favorite go-to is popcorn made on the stove), and just sit and talk for thirty minutes. You can’t get much simpler than this but you also can’t get more intentional with your time together.
- At-Home Movie Night (Camp Style!): You can always do an at home movie night OR you can do a camp-style at home movie night! Ditch the couches and instead tap into your inner kid and set up pillows, cushions, blankets, sleeping bags, etc. to make a big cozy spot on the floor. Turn off all the lights and instead light all the candles and put your fireplace to good use if one is available to you. For food, we love some good popcorn, but we also love adding homemade s’smores to the movie night menu to seal the deal on camp style movie night! Stepping your movie night game up a notch without breaking the bank.
- Make Dinner Together…And then eat with NO TV: Instead of making reservations at your favorite restaurant, try making a favorite meal right at home together! While it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, Jor and I love to cook and alternate weeks of cooking dinner. But when we want to do a date night in together, we decide on something together and then have fun in the kitchen putting together our meal. Don’t stop there though! When you sit down to eat, keep your phones away from the table (and on silent!) and keep the TV off if that’s a normal go to each night. You don’t have to be at a fancy pants restaurant to have a special night. You just need each other! Our new favorite addition to these dinners is a notebook of meaningful questions created by our dear friends called Well Known. It’s been 11 years together and these questions still reveal new things and spark the most meaningful of conversations!
- Two-Three Day Getaway: While this is the most elaborate of the plans, you can make it simple and affordable. We started taking these local getaway trips when we started to find ourselves putting off a trip because we didn’t have a whole week to spare or even the time to plan a big trip. Who said a trip had to be BIG or had to be out of the country? No one! So we decided to start finding places that we could drive to, bypass any airport stress and also use the money for tickets for nice hotels and meals. We’ve recently taken trips to Charleston and Asheville that we’ll share on the blog soon but these little getaways have been the perfect amount of time to just hit pause! We’ve found hotels that feel like home but still offer the special touches that feel like vacation and that also offer delicious breakfast or have a kitchen. We’ve enjoyed each of these small getaways so much, we typically end one talking about where our next one should be. They are the perfect reminder that sometimes less is so much more!
When you are feeling overwhelmed and like you’re at the point where you don’t have a minute to spare…that is typically the time when you actually DO need to take a minute. So decide today what your recharge button looks like with your nearest and dearest, schedule it, and make sure you actually take it! Use your Happy Balance Planner to carve out time for OUR time on paper so you can carve out the time in real life.
Make the decision to cultivate the relationships that fuel you and remind you of what is most important in life just as you would cultivate your work. They deserve it but so do you!